Xiaomi Redmi 2 goes up for sale with worldwide shipping

xiaomi_redmi2s_picture1Xiaomi’s recently announced Redmi 2 is an aggressively priced budget device, featuring a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 720p 4.7-inch screen. It officially launched in Chinese markets for roughly $110, but trying to get one shipped to the US would be a headache. Fortunately, a Chinese website has started selling the device at a slight mark-up that will ship the device worldwide.
Read more

Qualcomm integrating smartphone kill switch into Snapdragon processors

Qualcomm-Snapdragon-Chip-932Mobile device security was a hot issue in 2014, and it’s likely going to stay that way in 2015. Many device manufacturers looked into adding kill switches to their phones, and Google has even worked on their implementation.

On the hardware side of things, Qualcomm has announced they are working on a solution for stolen and lost devices called SafeSwitch, which will allow users to remotely lock their devices to secure personal information. Once the device is found, it can then be unlocked and re-activated.
Read more

Alcatel Onetouch to sell devices in the US through online storefront

alcatel_onetouch_pop_2_family_CES_2015Alcatel Onetouch is launching a new online store to directly sell devices to American consumers this year. The company has had moderate success in European countries, but so far hasn’t made much headway in the key US market. Selling a variety of phones online might just change that.

The store is actually powered by Amazon, so customers can pay for devices with their Amazon account. You can currently purchase the Idol X+ and Idol 2S, as well as the new Pop 7 and Pop 8 tablet that were announced at CES this year. Their planned smartwatches should also be available on the store, whenever those are released. 
Read more

Google launches guide for bringing technology into the classroom

google_apps_for_education_video_screenshotGoogle has released its guide to help schools integrate new technology into classrooms in an effort to boost engagement with Google Apps for Education and similar services. Many schools are bringing Google services and Chromebooks to the classroom, and Google wants to use them as an example for how other schools can enhance how they teach students with technology.
Read more

Samsung beats quarterly profit expectations thanks to component division

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_4_Front_Samsung_Logo_TASamsung has been struggling to stay competitive in the smartphone market this past year, but thanks to the component division of the company, they beat analyst expectations for 4th quarter profits in 2014. Their operating profit took a 37% dive from the year earlier, however.

On the high end, Samsung competes with Apple’s premium iPhones, and on the budget side of things the company is dealing with competition from OEMs like Xiaomi that sell devices at razor thin margins. Samsung has had a hard time adapting to that kind of competition, and the company’s stocks and revenue have fallen accordingly. The company does have an ace in the hole, though, and that comes from its component business.
Read more

Audi’s Q7 comes equipped with a fully integrated tablet

audi Q7 tabletNot only will you be able to pick up a smartwatch designed specifically for an Audi vehicle, but the company is also including an integrated tablet into this year’s Audi Q7. The tablet sports a 10.1-inch screen and a Tegra 4 processor, so it’s fairly well equipped for a tablet in 2015. The coolest features aren’t in the internal hardware, though.

The Audi tablet has a matted display that was specifically designed to resist vibrations from a moving vehicle, and the screen won’t shatter if the car is in an accident. The tablet is designed to function as an entertainment hub for passengers in the backseat, but it can also let backseat drivers change up waypoints on a map and send them to the main console for the driver, and it has full control of music and media that’s playing.
Read more

Android distribution numbers show KitKat growth, but not much for Lollipop

android distribution january 2015Google has updated their Android distribution numbers for January, and everything is about where we expect it to be. Ice Cream Sandwich saw a decline, although small, while KitKat increased its market share by about 5% to 39.1%. Most of that growth came at the expense of the much older Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread, as they both saw about a 1% decline each. Froyo is sitting at 0.4%, down from 0.5%, so it’s hanging on as hard as it can.

Interestingly, Lollipop hasn’t registered on these distribution numbers. Google always notes that they don’t display Android versions that account for less than 0.1% of the market, so if that’s the reasoning behind not displaying Lollipop, the adoption for Android 5.0 is not good.
Read more

MediaTek announces new processor for Android Wear smartwatches

mediatek_logo_orangeMediaTek has announced a new mobile processor specifically for Google’s Android Wear lineup. The MT206 SoC was designed so manufacturers could use an efficient, small, and affordable processor in their wearable devices.

The MT206 includes a 1.2 GHz dual-core A7 processor, a Mali-400 GPU, and supports up to qHD screen resolutions. It also connects with most of the standard connectivity options you’re used to, including Bluetooth and wireless networks. The biggest selling point for manufacturers with the MT206 is the small size of the SoC. It has 41.5% few components and less power draw than other chips, so it’s cheaper and more efficient to use, especially since it’s designed specifically for Android Wear.
Read more

SuperMHL standard will support 8K video at 120 FPS

PrintA new standard of MHL cable has been announced, and it offers a pretty big jump in features over the current MHL 3 that’s offered. This new standard is being called superMHL, and it has the hardware specifications to back up that name.

The new MHL cables will support 8K video at a full 120 FPS, which is a massive jump from MHL 3′s 4K support at 30 FPS. To power that kind of video output, the connector also supplies 40W of power so your phone doesn’t die 20 minutes into the movie. 
Read more